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Full text of "Alexander von Humboldt"

See other formats VON   1TOMBOLBT.                     2&
in the beginning of Becember, Alexander received
the Had KiowH from his brother, who had since the
oiul of April 1,79f> returned to Jcxxa, that their mother
had diod on tho SJOth of November.
Thin HOWS, and the family affairs consequent
tlujroou, called, him away from his scientific and
travelling plans for a short time, and in the be-
ginning of tho year 1797, ho came to his brother to
Joiia, whoro ho found William's* wife ill in con«
Hoqiionco of tho birth of her Becond son.
Ho remained here until the ypring, but tho great
plan  of a Wo«t   Indian journey had   been so  far
matured, that he employed the time of his stay at
Jena   entirely with  preparations for this important
Beioiitific undertaking.    He found Freiesleben here,
and entered into more intimate relations with Goethe,
who had arrived there on a visit, and his practically-
ootttimzod    anatomical   Btudios   excited   his   brother
'William's and   oven Goethe's  interest  for them, to
such a dogroo, that tho former heard private lectures
on   anatomy   from ProfbsBor   Loder with  him, and
Gootho often, atul  with pleasure conversed with him
on zoological preparations.    Besides this, he continued
tho ox}><^rirnoi)itH on, galvanism he had commenced at
"Vienna, and turned MB attention chiefly to the laws
of tnmtnilar h'ritation, and the disposition under gal-
of living nerves iu living animals.    He saw
a phcmouibnoix analogous in  many points  to
mHW, and, conxposod another work which gave-
IMIW oxplanatiotiB ou the efficacy of galvanic chains of
aniirial* siibHtarioos on the susceptible muscular and
uarvouft fibro,    Tho interest in the developmeaat of
thin force in living animals continued, and we shaE
•HOC how lie inakoH observationB during ^ his travels on
the peculiar development of oloctricity IB, the so-eallwi
oU^utrical fittk.    A work on a similar subject which he
lmd prc;parcd in Jen% ho could not publish himself,,
HH hin anxiety to oomtuence bis joiirney made him
intpatiotit   of  tho   necessary  delays;   he   sent
to Blum^baeh in G<Sttiagen, wbo